St. Benildus Romançon, F.S.C.
|Religious and educator|
|Born||June 14, 1805|
Thuret, Puy-de-Dôme, France
|Died||August 13, 1862 (aged 57)|
Saugues, Haute-Loire, France
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
(Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools)
|Beatified||4 April 1948, Vatican City, by Pope Pius XII|
|Canonized||29 October 1967, Vatican City, by Pope Paul VI|
|Major shrine||Church of Saint-Médard|
Saugues, Haute-Loire, France
|Attributes||Man of Sacrifice to God|
Benildus Romançon, F.S.C., (French: Bénilde) (June 14, 1805 – August 13, 1862) was a French schoolteacher and member of the Brothers of the Christian Schools who has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church. His feast day is August 13.
He was born Pierre Romançon on June 14, 1805, in the town of Thuret, Puy-de-Dôme, in France to a farming family. A small and fraillooking boy, he was not cut out physically to be a farmer, but his enrollment in a Christian Brothers school at Riom, led him to his calling as a teacher. He was so far ahead of his classmates in elementary school that when he was only 14 years old the Brothers often assigned him as a substitute teacher.
He joined the Brothers in 1820 and served at several Brothers’ schools in south-central France. In 1841 he was appointed Director of a school in Saugues, an isolated village on a barren plateau in southern France. For the next twenty years he worked quietly and effectively as teacher and principal to educate the boys in the village and some from the neighboring farms, many of whom were in their teens and had never been to school before.
Small as he was, he was known as a strict but fair disciplinarian. He also looked after his students by preparing meals in the Brothers’ kitchen for hungry students, converting old Brothers’ robes into coats or pants for them, and spending hours tutoring students who learned more slowly than others. He referred to all students, regardless of age or background, as "Monsieur."
In time the little school became the center of the social and intellectual life of the village, with evening classes for the adults and tutoring for the less gifted students. Brother Benilde’s extraordinary religious sense was evident to everyone: at Mass with the students in the parish church, teaching catechism, preparing boys for first communion, visiting and praying with the sick, and rumors of near-miraculous cures. He was especially effective in attracting religious vocations. At his death, on August 13, 1862, more than 200 Brothers and an impressive number of priests had been his students at Saugues.
Benildus was beatified on April 4, 1948, by Pope Pius XII who mentioned that his sanctification was attained by enduring "the terrible daily grind" and by "doing common things in an uncommon way". He was canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 29, 1967, becoming the first Brother of the Institute to be canonized and the second saint after Jean Baptiste de La Salle.
Educational institutions named after Saint Benildus
- De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Antipolo – Antipolo, Philippines
- Saint Benilde International School (Calamba) Inc. – Calamba, Laguna, Philippines
- Saint Benilde School – Bacolod City, Philippines
- Benilde-St. Margaret's School – St Louis Park, Minnesota, US
- Colegio de San Benildo in Misamis Oriental, Philippines
- School of Saint Brother Benilde – Mexico, Pampanga, Philippines
- Saint Benilde School – Metairie, Louisiana, US
- De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde – Manila, Philippines
- St Benildus College Dublin, Ireland 
- Stella Maris College - St Benild School (Grade 1 and Grade 2) Sliema, Malta
- "Saint Benildus". La Salle.org. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "House Patrons", La Salle Catholic College, Bankstown, NSW
- "St. Benilde", La Salle University
- "Saugues (Municipality, Haute-Loire, France)". Flags of the World. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Benildus Romançon", Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon
- St Benildus College, Dublin